Remember going to the park when you were a kid and making friends was simple? Going to school for the first time and learning everyone’s name or seeing their favorite toy because they brought it to show-and-tell?
Networking is honestly no different. It just has more dignified names but the technique is the same.
In this episode, I’m going to share one of my absolute favorite things to do…meet people. Introverts, stay with me because this will help you out! These are tips that are basic enough for a playground but get overthought as we get older. It’s not as hard as we make it.
Hope you enjoy!
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Ep. 14 - Full Transcription
[00:00:00] I am so excited to be talking about this. This is one of my favorite topics today. And I know that not everybody’s going to agree with me on this, but I actually find this fun. And I’m going to call this networking for introverts or extroverts. And really at the heart of this networking is just meeting people. Do you remember when we were kids and we’d go to the playground and you didn’t know any of the kids there, but by the time you left, you had your best friend or you had five best friends and you were going to.
[00:00:35] I don’t know. You didn’t even make plans. You just met people like, hi, my name is Kam. What’s your name? And you’re just swung or went down the slide or. Is swung a word. Can you say swung? You were swinging. We’ll just go with that. Anyway. Networking is at the core, just meeting other people and creating those relationships.
[00:01:00] And so I’m just going to give you five quick tips. Just to kind of bring your anxiety down and just so you realize that that is really truly in the next networking event, you go to. Just think about that playground and all you’re doing is making other friends. So here are the five tips.
[00:01:21] Number one, when you meet somebody or you meet a couple new people, try to find your common interest. So when you’re on the playground, you are all sliding. You’re all running around on the merry-go-round. Somebody is pushing. You all have that common interest. When you’re in a group of people or a networking group, or even just somebody that you just met that you met. Uh, for coffee. You know, it’s a business lunch, that kind of thing. It’s the same tactics. You look for those common interests. Are you both married? Do you both have kids? Do you go to a certain social group together? Uh,
[00:02:00] Is, you know, something to that effect. Did you come in the same type of vehicle? Something as simple as that can start a very basic relationship and conversation. And it can break the ice. So be looking for that common interest right off of the bat. See where they’re from. Are they from the same area, the same state, a state that you want to go to?
[00:02:25] Maybe it’s not something that you’re from the same area, but it’s something of interest to you and you want to know more. The more interesting you have in what there are. Commenting about, they will respond in like, So that’s number one.
[00:02:43] So number two. And this seems so basic and it’s basically, it’s what we learned in kindergarten at the playground. Just be nice. Uh, when you’re nice on the playground, you get to meet all the kids. If you’re not nice, nobody wants to hang around. You. You’re going to be in the sandbox all by yourself. Just be nice. Say, please say thank you. Say, excuse me. Just be courteous. Let the other people talk, ask questions and listen, which leads me to number three.
[00:03:16] When you are in a conversation, don’t just hear people that people are talking and don’t wait for the conversation to have a law that you can comment on yours. And I will admit that this is something that a lot of extroverts myself included struggle with. We tend to want to be in the conversation, dominate if need be.
[00:03:40] And so we’re just waiting for that love for you to stop talking so that we can put in our 2 cents. This is not a good way to have conversation. And I’m aware of this. And this is something that extroverts have to work on, but this is also one of the reasons why I have a podcast because I don’t have to wait for anybody to stop talking. I can just keep going and going. So unless you have a podcast. Uh let other people talk. I even know a guy love him to pieces, but he’s notorious at, uh, making a conversation icebreaker.
[00:04:17] And a few, maybe weeks later he’ll do the same thing. You know, what is your favorite dessert? Where is your favorite place to go, um, for vacation? What would you do if this happened or that kind of thing, but the problem is. And that is an excellent way to start a conversation or to keep on going.
[00:04:38] But if you’re not listening to the answers to those. One, you’re not really listening in the conversation. And two, you’re missing out on an opportunity to, to find those common interests and kind of build that relationship. ’cause a lot of times this guy will come back a couple of weeks later, like I said, and how’s the same, same question to the same people with the S you know, and get the same answers.
[00:05:06] And he is an extrovert and so again, that’s just something that we have to work on, but when you’re in a conversation, listen to what they’re saying. And I would even say repeat parts of it back. Oh, you’re from so-and-so or, oh, you’re you have four kids. Oh my gosh. You know, or you are struggling with this in your business. That’s crazy. You know, let me, let me know how that’s going.
[00:05:32] So I would say, just be sure that you’re not just hearing that people are talking and don’t try to button be sure that you’re asking questions. That’s a huge thing that makes people feel like you’re actually paying attention to what they’re saying. And if you’re truly listening. They will ask you questions back. So that’s just something that I know I have to work on, but. It’s huge.
[00:05:58] Number four. Is just as important it’s eye contact. If you are not keeping eye contact, you’re looking at your phone or you’re looking at your watch or even a slight glance at the door can completely sever a conversation relationship.
[00:06:17] I’m sure everybody’s had this example, but just recently I was at, uh, an ENT doctor’s appointment. And he. While I’m speaking, he glanced at his watch, which I’m sure was a smart phone watch. But to me that said, he’s not even listening to me. He’s not going to listen to the rest of my. Whatever my issue is.
[00:06:40] And I completely disconnected from that appointment. And I felt like I was not heard, was not seen and that I was a waste of time to him. So this is something that we’ve kind of lost sight of doing. And i know a lot of people are looking at their phones nowadays but this is something that still holds true.
[00:07:04] If you’re in a conversation that you’re trying to build a relationship. And network that kind of thing. Be conscious of your eye contact. And don’t be creepy about it. I mean, don’t stare at people. Remember the park, you don’t want to be staring at other people. So keep that in mind. I don’t want to do that. Just make sure that you’re keeping the eye contact.
[00:07:29] And then number five. Is when you’re done with the conversation, maybe make notes. If that’s something that you need to help you remember, but. When, if there’s an opportunity that you’re going to be talking to this person again, try to remember what it was that you were talking about and try to remember their details. Not what you said. Don’t go back and rehash. Oh, did I sound brilliant in that? Did I make a good point? Oh, they should really pay attention to what I said.
[00:08:01] No. Remember what it was that they said, what did they say about their business? What did they say about their family, about their lives, about their thoughts? And bring that up in another conversation later. Recently, I had a friend of mine. That I didn’t realize has struggled with this her whole life.
[00:08:22] That she doesn’t feel like anybody listens to her. And we had kind of reconnected after, um, not being connected for a few years. And just life happened. But after I had asked her some different things that she had mentioned a long time ago, She was blown away by that the fact that somebody had heard her and remembered what she had said and listened to her. It was huge.
[00:08:51] It totally reconnected our friendship. And it made a huge impact on her. And that was just something that I just simply remembered. So this is also something that the extroverts tend to lack. Even though we can go out and we can meet anybody and we can talk to anybody.
[00:09:11] I can go up to anybody and start a conversation. And I’m also self aware enough of the situation. But I do tend to struggle with the one listening, like I talked about and to the remembering. So when you want to throw an ice breaker into the conversation about what is your favorite dessert? Remember what their favorite resort dessert is. It will help in the long run. So when you call them and you’re like, Hey.
[00:09:40] How’s that cheesecake or, you know, Something to that effect. That creates something outside of the business relationship. So that when they come to you with a business issue, Or a personal issue. They’re more apt to go a little bit deeper in that conversation.
[00:10:02] Now. All of this can still be applied in online networking. And I do still recommend highly going into a Facebook groups if you so choose trying to connect with communities, the, uh, private communities are big now kind of getting off of social, but I’m still finding those people that are your people.
[00:10:28] And connecting to them. And I do. Strongly suggest that find those people that you relate to, but also look for those communities where your niche client is. Don’t just look for the people that you connect with. Also look for those people that you can help with your business. Maybe you are a seamstress and you’re in groups that give you tips on how to be a better seamstress, which is awesome. You should be in those groups. Those are groups that you relate to.
[00:11:04] However, those aren’t people that are going to be your paying customers. So you also need to go into other groups. Maybe there is a knitting group that you have no idea about knitting, but those people probably don’t know anything about sewing. So you go in there. And you find people that need a seamstress. There may be a short knitter and need their hems knitted up knitted.
[00:11:33] Don’t knit ahem.
[00:11:35] If you don’t know about knitting. Wow. Yeah. If you’re a seamstress, you should probably. So that. Uh, so anyway, find those groups where your niche people are and use those tactics. You can still do that in. Social media groups, private groups online. When you do zoom calls, you can. You know, be watching your eye contact. You don’t need to be looking at yourself and you don’t need to be looking at them on the computer.
[00:12:07] Look at the camera that is there. Eye contact. And just train yourself to. Look at the camera. And if you have to. Look at the screen let them know. That you know, you’re pulling up their website or something like that. So that when you break eye contact, they’re aware of what it is that you’re looking at. You’re not just, you know, looking through your Instagram feed.
[00:12:35] So those are my five tips and the bonus is seamstresses don’t knit hems. So there you go. I hope you guys have a great weekend. It’s Friday today. And I just hope you go and light your world. Have a great one.